WESTON, Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloys proposal to lift many of the states longstanding liquor laws might look like a win-win to many. But Larry Vavrek , owner of the only liquor store in Weston, doesn't see it that way.
I was very disappointed when I heard about this, and to be honest, it has kept me up at night a few times this week, said Vavrek, owner of Peters Spirit Shop on Weston Road.
The proposal would eliminate minimum pricing, which Malloy says would lower costs for consumers. It would also allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays, holidays and Mondays that follow Sunday holidays. The governor also expects to see additional revenue if the law were changed.
But Vavrek said he doesnt see the state, his liquor store or any other mom-and-pop spirit shop in the area making much money off the proposed change. I really dont think this will help anyone. If anything, its going to hurt the smaller businesses, Vavrek said.
The purpose, according to Malloy, is to keep Connecticut competitive with neighboring states. The only state in the country that bans Sunday sales of alcohol is Indiana.
Malloys plan may possibly allow certain grocery stores to create separate package stores. But instead of staying competitive with other states, Vavrek said the move would also pit large chain stores, such as BJs, Stop & Shop or Costco, against local mom-and-pop stores such as his.
In rural Weston, many residents pass large chain grocery stores that sell alcohol on their way home, which would eliminate the towns need for a local liquor store. If this goes through, my business will be worth nothing, he said.
Honestly, its hard enough to find people who want to work on a Saturday until 8 p.m. now. What am I going to do when I need some to come in on Sundays or on a holiday? he said. I am not looking for Sunday sales at all, it wouldnt help me one bit. I am really hoping that this doesnt go through."
But Vavreks next-door neighbor, Jim Magee, proprietor of Peters Market , says he envisions nothing but good things if Malloys idea becomes law. I definitely get phone calls from people who are wondering if we sell alcohol on the weekends, Magee said.
Although Peters Market does not sell alcohol, Magee said he sees Malloys plan benefiting the entire state. I really dont think any of this will be negative for business. If anything, I think it can only draw more people into the center.
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